Starfleet Starfighter Corps
|Starfleet Starfighter Corps|
United Federation of Planets
|Commander-in-Chief of the Federation Starfleet:||
President of the United Federation of Planets
|Chief of Staff of Starfleet:||
Fleet Admiral Teval
|Chief of Starfleet Department:||
Rear Admiral Dalero
|Master Chief Petty Officer of Department:||
MCPO Jiro Jolen
The Starfighter Corps is perhaps one of the youngest military units in the Federation today. They were greeted with much approval at the beginning due to the ongoing conflicts with the Borg and the Dominion, however Starfleet pilots have begun a friendly rivalry with the starfighters, much like the Marines and security officers, but far less aggressive. The Starfighter Corps went through a trial by fire during the Dominion War and yet still needs to prove their value.
In the 20th century, fighter aircraft were a large part of war. They were used in all three world wars, and to great effect during the Eugenics War, when up close and personal contact with a human augment was not a promising prospect. However, after first contact with the Vulcans, humanity no longer used fighters, either in the atmosphere or in the space above. As the years passed, the United Earth saw no need for it, and neither did the Coalition of Planets nor the Federation after it was founded.
This began to change during the Federation-Cardassian war. Cardassian fighters proved effective in bypassing the defenses of larger federation vessels, and Starfleet was quick to develop the means to defend against it. The war ended before any sort of plan could be put in action, and fighter designs were put on the back-burner until resources could be allocated for it. During this time, the Raider Class assault ship was being phased out, although several were used for training. The first one to show was the Raider-class, though it was more of a troop and cargo transport than a fighter. It was much smaller than a starship but larger than a shuttle though it could technically fight inside a shuttlebay if needed.
In 2367 Starfleet introduced the Peregrine-class for the Borg threat due to the belief that large capitol ships were not sufficient by themselves. It was stationed on starbases near the Delta Quadrant, as well as near other major powers such as the Klingon, Romulan, and Tholian, though Deep Space Nine did not have starfighters due to the agreement with the Bajorans. These fighters used mainly Akira-class as carriers while other carriers were being developed.
Soon Starfleet began to develop other fighters such as the Scorpion Mk I fighter and the Viper-class, just as the Dominion War was starting. The new fighters proved their value during this time, creating holes in shields and allowing the capitol ships to destroy enemy ships much more easily. The starfighters also went head to head with the Dominion attack ships as they were the same size. The starfighters did help a good deal in winning the Dominion War as more of the capitol ships would have been destroyed had it not been for the fighter pilots.
Shortly after the Dominion War, the Starfleet Starfighter Corps, whose headquarters at Starfleet Starfighter Command on Earth, was founded and the Research and Development department of the Corps of Engineers began to create more fighter classes and has so far made two, the Razor-class and the Scorpion MkII-class, and many of the next generation of Starfleet vessels contain starfighter wings.
- Group Commander
- Wing Commander
- Squadron Leader
- Flight Leader
- Fighter Pilot
- Tactical Systems Operator
The Starfleet Starfighter Corps is broken down into several unit types, similar to the SFMC. The smallest unit is the Flight Team (eight fighters), led by a Flight Leader. This person is usually an ensign or a junior lieutenant, depending on the ranks of their superiors. Flight Leaders oversee the condition of 8 fighters and their pilots and, if applicable, their tactical systems operators. The Flight Teams stay in the same barracks, eat together, train together, to form a cohesive unit in the face of the enemy and to eliminate as many human errors as possible due to unfamiliarity. At times, Flight Leaders will be the most senior fighter pilot onboard the starship due to the vessel's size and will be a member of the senior staff. More often, however, the Flight Leader reports to the Squadron Leader.
The Squadron Leader is in charge of one squadron of fighters and their pilots, which breaks down into four Flight Teams or twenty-four fighters and fighter pilots. Like the Flight Teams, the pilots live and eat together, though they do tend to train in the smaller units. Often, the Squadron Leader will coordinate with the Flight Leaders to organize training schedules for certain Flight Teams to train together, or for the Squadron to train as a whole so as to provide optimal efficiency. If a Squadron is the largest starfighter unit aboard the starship or starbase, the Squadron Leader reports directly to the Commanding Officer and the Executive Officer and is a member of the senior staff.
However, if the Squadron is part of a larger group, called a Wing, the Squadron Leader reports to the Wing Commander. A Fighter Wing is comprised of two to three Squadrons, or forty-eight to seventy-two starfighters. Though the Squadrons live together in one barrack, it is hard to find room for an entire wing of starfighters aboard a starship and so the different Squadrons live in separate barracks. The Wing Commander deals mostly with the Squadron Leaders and at times the Flight Leaders, though rarely will they interact with the pilots that are not on their flight or squadron. The Wing Commander must make decisions such as what fighters to fix first, who goes to training when, and what squadron gets the best shower times. This is in many ways similar to being a Commanding Officer, though all the crewmen are pilots. Wings are often the most populous unit onboard a starship though most stop at Squadrons. The Wing Commander in these cases is a member of the senior staff and and reports to the CO and XO, though if it is onboard a starbase, they report to the Group Commander.
Air Groups are the largest of the spaceborne units in the Starfighter Corps and are stationed on starbases such as the Ethereal-class and the Stardock-class, the Regula-class being too small for an Air Group. Air Groups are comprised of somewhere between 96 and 240 starfighters, possibly more, and are commanded by the Group Commander, also called Commander of the Air Group (CAG). There may be two or three wings in the Air Group, and the senior most Wing Commander is the executive officer of the unit, the Group Commander being the commander of the unit. Onboard a starbase, the Group Commander reports to the Commanding Officer and Executive Officer of the starbase and is part of the senior staff.
Holding the Air Groups together is the Starfleet Starfighter Corps itself, coordinating with Starfleet Operations to send this fighter pilot here, or this Flight Team there, all to the best benefit of Starfleet as a whole.
Pegasus Fleet would like to thank Kevin Dearman for his instrumental assistance in the creation of the history for this article.